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Russia suspends major nuclear treaty with US

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    24th Feb, 2023

Fact Box:

  • Signed: 8 April 2010
  • Entered into Force: 5 February 2011
  • Duration: Ten-year duration with option to extend for no more than five years
  • Parties: United States, Russian Federation


Russia announced to suspend its participation in the New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States.


  • New START’s official name is The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
  • It was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
    • The treaty was to replace the 1991 START treaty.
  • Just days before the treaty was due to expire in February 2021, Russia and the United States agreed to extend it for another five years.
  • While suspending the treaty, Russia accused the S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.

Limits imposed by the treaty:

  • The treaty limits each party to
    • 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)
    • 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs
    • 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers
  • It also envisions a rigorous inspection regime to verify compliance. 

Together, Russia and the United States account for about 90% of the world's nuclear warheads.

Where did the issue start?

  • Under the agreement, each side could conduct up to 18 inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites every year to ensure the other has not breached the treaty's limits.
  • However, inspections under the agreement were put on hold in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Talks between Moscow and Washington on resuming inspections were due to take place last November in Egypt, but Russia postponed them and neither side has set a new date.

Verifying, please be patient.

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